ALL ABOUT YEOSU: How To Go, Things To Do, Where To Stay, Etc.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

While making my itinerary for this trip, I saw a gap day between Jeonju and Gwangju. Instead of extending a day in either of them, I decided to pick a random city in between. I don't know how I landed in Yeosu, but what I do know is that I have a spot for port towns. Anything by the beach is instant good vibes! My short stay in Yeosu was definitely worthwhile.

About Yeosu

Out of all my IG Stories asking for tips, I received ZERO reply when it comes to Yeosu. In short, it is not a top of mind vacation site especially for us Filipinos. Reading up, here are some trivia I picked up about this southern town (almost just across Jeju Island) that might make you want to go here on your next trip to Korea.

1) Literal meaning of Yeosu is "Peaceful Water City". Since they are near the sea, Yeosu has cool summers and mild winters, and relatively longer springs and autumns. When I was there (coming from Jeonju) it was so windy I had to take out my extra jacket and bundle up!

2) In 2012, Yeosu hosted its biggest international event when they won the bid against Morocco and Poland. During EXPO 2012, Yeosu received over 8 million visitors from 105 participating countries where they talked about environmental issues like climate change and ocean conservation. Till now, they have a train station called Yeosu EXPO Station.

3) Yeosu is famous for their seafood, beaches, and unique architectures. It's best to view this city from bird's view point, so take the cable car, go up the observatory, or take a hike!

Traveling To Yeosu From Jeonju

From Jeonju, I took the KTX for Yeosu EXPO with about 1.5 hours travel time. I bought my train ticket on-the-spot at around 16,000 KRW (around Php 700).

The train was not full, but I had a hard time looking for a compartment space for my medium luggage (best to pack light if you can). The conductor checking the train tickets passed by and I asked her for assistance, and was told I can just put my luggage right next to me. Every time the train stops, I was hoping no one's assigned on the chair next to me kung hindi ang hassle! 😁

The train ride was so comfortable, I was able to post my mandatory 10th blog anniversary IG post hehehe. I was caught off guard when I saw people standing up for the next station, which is Yeochon. I forgot to double check my ticket, and instead, I stood up with the crowd and went off the train with them--mahirap na lumagpas! Yun pala I was still one station away from Yeosu EXPO! I had to take a cab all the way to my hostel, which costed my about Php 900ish! 😅

Aside from taking the KTX, or if you're coming from Seoul, here are other way to go to Yeosu:

By Plane
You can book for flights from Gimpo Airport to Yeosu Airport via Asiana or Korean Air. Flight takes around 30 minutes only.

By Train
The fastest way by train from Seoul is still via KTX, which will take around 3.5 hours from Seoul Station.

By Bus
Take a bus from Express Bus Terminal, with 5 hours travel time.

Where I Stayed In Yeosu

With a quick research, I trusted the user reviews and just booked Yeosu Inn Guesthouse via Agoda. A night only costs 18,000 KRW, or around Php 800, and this already includes breakfast! What I like about booking a room with Agoda is the user reviews and the map of the accommodation that you can show to your taxi driver (in Korea, hotel name is usually in Hangul or Korean text).

Although Yeosu can just be a day-trip, let's say from Jeju or Gwangju, I realized that I prefer staying for at least one night per city just so I can fully absorb it. And also, so I can rest from all the long commutes! I cannot imagine navigating and carrying my luggage 2x in one day haha. 😅

I am also happy that my stay at the Yeosu Inn Guesthouse was very memorable and pleasant. Grabe sobrang sulit! I was supposed to be in a 4-bed dorm room, but ended up with no roomies during my whole stay!

But aside from the comfort and luxury of a private room and CR, the highlight is the kind ahjumma guesthouse owner who, even with zero English up her sleeves, sure knows how to make me at ease and at home in her guesthouse.

The only downside I can think of is that they have no elevators, so I had to carry my luggage till my room on the third floor. I am used to this especially since I usually stay in dorms, but just a warning in case you are not fond of this set-up.

Here's how my room looks like. Para syang university dormitory, but very clean and neat! As you enter the door, there are two doors next to each other with one leading to the toilet and bath, and the other leading to the room.

There are 2 bunk beds meant for four guests, but then again, I was lucky to stay here on my own! They also assign a locker for your luggage, but di ko na sya nagamit. They also have a small ref, a hair dryer, and a box of tissue on top of the lockers.

Two electrical outlets and a tiny bedside table for each bed:

The restroom already has shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothpaste + hot shower 24/7:

I was not in a rush to leave Yeosu the next day, so I made sure to enjoy my sleep and my short stay in this guesthouse. I guess that's the perk of just taking the bus or KTX on-the-spot, your schedule is flexible depending on your mood (or energy) for the day.

How To Go Around Yeosu

I've been reading Yeosu transportation tips, and most bloggers prefer riding a taxi to navigate the city.

I took the bus to Odongdo Island, but I was just lucky to chance upon a very helpful local by the bus stop. She was also on her way to Odongdo to hike with friends!

It was a memorable bus stop encounter for me because the ahjumma was very friendly, and she really tried her best to strike a conversation. Buses were very few so matagal talaga ang waiting time. Ahjumma said she's taking a nightly English class, trying to study the language for her niece who is now studying abroad. The little time we spent at the bus stop I tried to teach her how to count in English, while she taught me a few Korean words I often just hear in Kdramas, hehe!

 From Odongdo, I also walked a lot, took the cable car to another side of the city, and then hailed a taxi for my last stops (Aqua Park and heading back to the guesthouse). Tita traveler na ata talaga ako, tamad na mag effort, hoho!

Things To Do In Yeosu

Just for a day, here are the sites and attractions I was able to accomplish:

Odongdo Island 

Odongdo Island is known for its beautiful camellia flowers, lighthouse observatory, cliffs, musical fountain, and of course a nice view of the blue ocean.

Since I just came from a Php 900+ taxi ride for getting off the wrong train station, I decided to just go by foot across the breakwater connecting Yeosu Port to Odongdo Island. They also have a Dongbaek Train option (500 KRW), but I just enjoyed the view of the 2012 EXPO site across Odongdo as I walked at my own pace. Maybe when it's colder will take this train.

The highlights of Odongdo Island:

Odongdo is famous for its scarlet camellia trees, which blooms from November to April. I was a little late for its full bloom season, but still spotted a few during my hike in the island!

Turtle Ship! I think these are just replicas, but a turtle ship is a large Korean warship used during the Joseon dynasty. There's one near Dolsan Bridge that you can enter the ship for free.

A musical fountain park! I stayed in this area just to people watch, while Busker Busker's Cherry Blossom Ending was playing. I love that the song instantly lifts up the mood! I even saw kids wearing rain gears by the water fountain, dancing and jumping!

Here's where the Dongbaek Train ride ends, and where you can also board if you're leaving Odongdo.

The entrance for the hike to Odongdo's trail has a huge signage featuring the Bare Feet Odongdo Park, and its health benefits! They really encourage walking here in Korea.

Although I was clueless and did not know what to expect, the Odongdo trail had lots of English signages that you can just follow. It was a lovely walk around bamboo forests, cliffs, and views of the ocean here and there. I also went up the lighthouse for the free observatory. Wind was cool but not uncomfortable, It was a nice exercise and sight-seeing in one!

Yeosu Maritime Cable Car

After walking back to Yeosu Port, I chanced up this high building heading to the Yeosu Maritime Cable Car. Since I only have one afternoon here, I decided to just buy a one-way ticket for the cable car. YOLO na ito!

Before the cable car ticket booth, I also saw this resting area with heart-shaped wood attached to poles like Namsan's lovelocks:

First time in my whole life I had to take a cable car ALONE! There was a fairly long line, but mostly they were for the crystal cabin (which I didn't take para tipid ng onti - 15,000KRW vs 22,000 KRW). So I went straight to my solo standard cabin! Haha, I am not usually afraid of rides and heights, but dito kinabahan ako ng konti!

Naisip ko nalang, sobrang sulit nito a! My own private cable car cabin for the price of 1! Hehe!

Dolsan Island

From Yeosu mainland, the cable car ends in Dolsan Island. I had a nice view of Yeosu from the cable car, so I highly recommend the experience!

Meanwhile, if I had more time it would have been nice to check out more of what Dolsan Island has to offer. They have beaches, a coastal trail (hiking uli! Hehe!), and the popular Yeosu site Hyangiram Hermitage, an old Buddhist temple located along a coastal cliff!

But anyway, with limited time I was only able to go around Dolsan Park, at its far end there was a viewing deck for the Dolsan Bridge, Marine Park, and the beautiful Janggundo Island.

Yeosu Hanhwa Aqua Planet 

I was sad during my taxi ride to my last stop for Yeosu. It was already nearing 5pm, and most establishments will be closed in an hour. If it's a 24-hours outdoor location, takot din naman ako to stay till late in an unfamiliar territory.

Anyway, so my last Yeosu destination was in the Aqua Planet, the second largest aquarium in South Korea. I have already said this before, I wasn't fond of indoor activities whenever I travel. I also am not a fan of aquariums. I am making an exemption for Yeosu Aqua Planet as it is also the filming location of Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji-hyun's drama The Legend of the Blue Sea!

I only had an hour left till closing, so they suggested that I just get a certain ticket. I was too late nadin daw for the mermaid show, sayang! For the kinds of tickets and their corresponding rates, you can check out THIS PAGE.

Akala ko super rush nalang ako and I had enough aqua parks in my life, but I still enjoyed Yeosu's. Super entertaining! I think I was also amused by the crowd of the Aqua Park, mostly Korean families with kids or couples on a date. Ang gaan ng mood, and random mo yung super aliw nila sa animals, panay ang picture picture nila hehehe!

I love this section of the Aqua Park! You'll find curious creatures and a dark room filled with lighted jellyfish on this zone.

This huge tank is the one in Legend of the Blue Sea! Even without the Kdrama reference, I love the setup of this zone. Para kang nasa movie house with the huge aquarium as the big screen, and bleachers in front where you can just rest and watch.

Screencap from the Kdrama! Heo Joon Jae!!! Hahaha.

When I got back in my hostel, two of the highlights of my last hours in Yeosu are my dinner and my breakfast the next day. I had no energy to look for a resto so I just asked for the nearest convenience store. It was just 2 blocks or less away from the guesthouse.

I bought an instant BIBIMBAP in a 7Eleven, and brought it to the "secret pantry", after the owner directed me to it downstairs. Ang aliwalas ng place! And they have everything that I need! From clean drinking water, microwave, toaster, lahat na! And can I just, super bango ng place! Haha.

Also, before leaving the next day, I carried my luggage downstairs when the guesthouse owner saw me and pointed again downstairs, while acting like she's eating to invite me to have breakfast first!

I was the first one in the room. She showed me her humble spread, then took an egg from a full bowl, and pressed the warm piece on my arm! Ahhh, nakaka tuwa talaga! The guesthouse owner then left me to enjoy my meal privately. I had toasted bread with butter and jam, hardboiled eggs, banana, Jeju orange juice, and unlimited cups of coffee. I took my time to savor this simple breakfast, sinangag lang talaga ang kulang pero overall this is exactly how I wanted to start a new day. ❤

...To be continued!

Watch my Yeosu Instagram Stories:


  1. Aqua Planet is really cool! I would love to go there! -

  2. The view from the picture is really beautiful, I really want to feel it for myself. It must be a great trip.


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